U.S. Senator Marco Rubio began an official visit to several Pacific Rim nations, the first since his election, with a week-long trip to Japan, the Philippines and South Korea.
As the highest-ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Rubio will meet with both U.S. officials and foreign leaders over fundamental financial and security issues.
“Asia is vitally important to the future of America’s security, and economic well-being,” he said in a statement. “America must make sure that our rhetoric about increasing our presence in Asia does not come at the expense of enduring alliances and challenges in other parts of the world.”
According to Rubio’s office, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy joined the Florida Senator Monday morning for a breakfast meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Rubio then held conversations with Japanese defense minister, members of the Japan-U.S. Parliamentary Friendship League, and the Commandant of the Japanese Coast Guard, with whom he discussed regional maritime disputes.
On Wednesday, Rubio travels to the Philippines, to review ongoing typhoon recovery efforts, visit President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and other leaders. On Thursday, he will travel to South Korea to meet with U.S. troops and speak with President Park Geun-hye.
Highlighting his Asia-Pacific tour, Rubio will give a speech at Korea’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul on Friday.
Regular trip updates can be found through Rubio’s personal Twitter account @MarcoRubio, as well as photos and information posted on his website.
Photos courtesy of the office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio: